Some great one liners from John Armstrong

Rankin reference rebounds on Clark – 13 Mar 2008 – Politics: New Zealand Political News, Analysis and Comment including 2008 election coverage – NZ Herald

John Armstrong writes in the Herald this morning about Clark’s desperate and ultimately doomed attempt to drag 1999 into 2008 by trying to smear John Key with Christine Rankin. As Armstrong acknowledges younger voters don’t even know who Christine Rankin is. By the time of the election an 18 year old first voter only has the political memory of nine long years of Labour as the government. They were only nine years old when the Christine Rankin story was Labour’s bludgeon against National. Now onto John Armstrong’s one-liners.

The Prime Minister came to Parliament yesterday wanting to party like it was 1999. Unfortunately for her, it is 2008. She instead sounded like she was doing the Time Warp.

Yesterday’s attempted haymaker from Clark was so off target it risked knocking her out instead.

Yep, kncoked out is dead right.

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Labour Policy theft documented

Monkeys With Typewriters: Hat tip Bogusnews

Monkeys With Typewriters via Bogus news has compiled a list of stolen National Party policies. Stolen by whom? Well, Labour of course.

Despite Clark’s comments that Labour have tonnes of ideas actually they are bereft of them. Witness that the legislative timetable is for just 61 sitting days this year.

Labour though do have tonnes of ideas, they just happen to be Nationals.

Rat's leaving the sinking SS Clark

Speaker Margaret Wilson will not stand in election – 22 Feb 2008 – Politics: New Zealand Political News, Analysis and Comment including 2008 election coverage – NZ Herald


Beautiful, just beautiful

New Zealand Parliament – 4. Political Parties?Meaning of ?Donation?

Hon Bill English: Is she aware?

Hon Phil Goff: Quit while you?re ahead.

Hon Bill English: Quit while you?re behind, Phil. [Interruption]

Madam SPEAKER: This chipping across the Chamber causes disorder.

Hon Bill English: Is she aware the comments made by the president of the Labour Party referred to interest-free loans, mainly from rich branches of the Labour Party; and does she think that her officials should advise the president of the Labour Party that he should declare all pledge card loans, so the public can know whether one of New Zealand?s major political parties is complying with the law?

Hon ANNETTE KING: There are several questions there, and in relation to the first one, no.

Hon Bill English: Given her view, stated to this House, that an interest-free loan is, in fact, a donation, does she believe that the comment made by the president of the Labour Party after Owen Glenn received his New Year?s honour, saying that Mr Glenn had not made a donation was misleading, and probably deliberately misleading?

Hon ANNETTE KING: My name is not ?Mr Nasty?, like that member?s; he is always throwing insults around people. To say that people deliberately mislead is not something I am going to comment on.

Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. [Interruption]

Madam SPEAKER: Points of order are heard in silence.

Gerry Brownlee: Do you seriously consider that that was an answer to the question, or even an attempt to address it? She simply said: ?My name is not ?Mr Nasty? ?. Perhaps she would like to tell us what her middle name is, inside the Labour Party?

Heh, Phil gets the smackdown from Bill and then Mrs Blame-it-on-the-Moon gets spanked by Gerry.

Incidentally would someone like to enlighten us all exactly what Annette “Moonbeam” King’s real labour Party nickname is???

Is this the start of a Coup d'etat?

The Hive: Rob Taylor Appointment Fact Not Rumour

Wellington Hive’s Queen Bee blogs about some concerning details about a very recent appointment.
[quote]An announcement was apparently made late yesterday. Lack of references in the media are a concern to The Hive. We have obtained the following text of the announcement:

Appointment of Official Secretary, Government House

Rob Taylor has been appointed Official Secretary, Government House. His appointment was announced today by the Clerk of the Executive Council, Diane Morcom.

Rob Taylor is a career diplomat. He has worked for many years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), most recently as Consul-General in Los Angeles. Earlier assignments have included a period as Senior MFAT Private Secretary in the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, a period as High Commissioner to Vanuatu, and postings to Samoa, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He has a background in charitable organisations, including Riding for the Disabled, IHC and Oxfam.

Rob Taylor will take up the position of Official Secretary at the end of March 2008, on secondment from MFAT. He replaces Adrian Simcock, who resigned in November for health reasons.[/quote]

No problem there right? Wrong!

The Hive: Why Is Having A Labour Party Activist At Government House a Worry?

Yes very interesting link that one.
[quote]Don’t expect any semblance of independence from the Governor-General. Rumour has it that Labour stalwart Rob Taylor has been appointed as the new Chief Secretary at Government House. Rob came out of the closet as a Labour Party man in 1996 – the same year he took up publicly with Labour Party researcher Don Badman. He was an early example of politicisation of the public service when MFAT broke with tradition in 1999/2000 and appointed Rob as Phil Goff’s private secretary – previously this was a non-partisan public servant’s job. Rob was sent by Goff as Consul-General in Los Angeles where he handled a number of sensitive consular cases – his territory covers the entire West Coast, including San Francisco. Some questions remain unanswered – is this appointment a secondment or has Rob resigned from MFAT? And does the Governor-General know that Rob is a Labour Party man?[/quote]

and this is even more alarming;
[quote]A couple of readers have e-mailed asking why we are so worried about the appointment of Rob Taylor as Chief Secretary at Government House (should the rumour be true)?

Lets explain. This is election year. Most people believe that National will be the largest party in the new Parliament but only the very brave are saying that National will win more than 50% of the vote. Most people believe that the next Government will be determined by a coalition deal stitched up after the election. And it is quite possible that things will be very close in this coalition race. The Governor-General might well be confronted with a choice as to which side has formed the coalition/supply support agreement that is most likely work. It hasn’t happened yet, but it could. Both Labour and National could be going to the GG to say that they can form a government. In these circumstances The Hive would rather have a totally impartial Chief Secretary at Government House rather than one who wants another three years of Labour. The Chief Secretary would be the first port of call for counsel for the GG.

We are also worried about the nature of this appointment. If this is a secondment from MFAT, this places enormous power in the hands of the MFAT CEO, because, even though this is not meant to happen, MFAT secondees tend to take their instructions from the MFAT CEO (their permanent employer and the determinant of ultimate career destiny) as opposed to their temporary employer. We are not at all sure that MFAT wants a change of Government. Groser as Trade, Murray McCully as Foreign, and John Hayes as ODA And Pacific Affairs Minister (probably outside Cabinet) this would be a nightmare. Look what has happened across the ditch. Rudd has already cut 19 overseas positions at DFAT and trimmed back the travel vote by 10%. He knew exactly where to look for the waste. Will the MFAT turkeys really be wanting to see an early Christmas? We don’t think so.

These are all serious questions which you would expect the NZ media to be exploring in more depth than we have time to do. Likewise we would have thought that National and other parties might have something to say also. It will be interesting to see whether any of this happens.[/quote]

Stacking the public service and now the Office of the Governor General with toadies and lickspittles, it seems that Labour doesn’t really need to win the election. Add to that the muzzling of opposition through the EFA and perhaps we are seeing a coup d’etat, not at the point of a gun, rather at the point of a bureaucrats pencil.

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Russell Fairbrother gets huge round of applause from National benches

Heh! Russell Fairbrother was just called to ask a patsy and the National benches gave him a rousing round of applause, for which he thanked then following his selection for Napier.


Question of the Day Award – Bill English

I don't think I have ever praised Bill English for anything, ever. However today he delivered one of the best questions I have ever seen in parliament.

[quote]Hon Bill English: Can we now sum up the Minister's and Labour's position on tax cuts in the following way: he said he could not and he would not, then he said he cannot and he shall not, then he said he could and he would, and now he might when it is right, and why does he not listen to those New Zealanders who are telling him he is wrong and he is gone, and his Labour colleagues who are saying that he is tired and should be fired?[/quote]

Cop that one Cullen.?




Patsy Question leads to major embarassment

When the government gets to ask a question in the house they usually open with a patsy question that allows the Minister to do one of two things, either claim success for some thing or other or seek to embarrass or ridicule the Opposition.

Question 7 today by Labour toady Jill Pettis was designed to option two, that is continue to heap oppribrium upon John Key over Iraq. i bet Labour was wishing they had thought a little bit harder about that approach right now as the question turned into a major self inflicted injury in the parliament.

[quote]Iraq?New Zealand Troops

7. JILL PETTIS (Labour) to the Minister of Defence: What new reports has he received on New Zealand committing troops to Iraq?

Hon PHIL GOFF (Minister of Defence): I have seen the transcript of a Radio Dunedin interview last Friday with Mr Key. In the interview, Mr Key explained his statement of 11 February 2003, where he had said that he was prepared to commit the SAS and combat troops to Iraq in response to a request from the United States, as follows: ?The comments they are referring to were comments of me saying, effectively, are as, I might add, a junior?the 27th out of 27; the most junior backbencher in 2003?to my local community newspaper.? That may have been the excuse, but it does not explain why he told Campbell Live, on 28 May 2007?and continues to say?that it had never been his personal view to support sending troops to Iraq. That denial is obviously untrue and misleading, and he should simply come clean and admit that.

Jill Pettis: Can the Minister advise the House of what else the report states?

Hon PHIL GOFF: The report quotes Mr Key as now claiming that even though he supported the war in Iraq, he would not have sent troops there. Again, that statement, last Friday, contradicts his earlier statements, and that statement must be misleading and must be untrue. But he also said in the Rodney Times on 11 February 2003: ?New Zealand should be prepared to fight for the values it believes in.? He is now saying that he believes in the values behind the war but that he would not fight for them. [Interruption]

Madam SPEAKER: I will ask the Minister to repeat his answer in silence. Will the Minister please now complete his answer as succinctly as possible, in silence so that we can all hear it.

Hon PHIL GOFF: Mr Key, having said that New Zealand should be prepared to fight for the values that it believes in, is now saying that he believes in the values behind the war but that he would not fight for them. That position would be regarded by friends and allies of New Zealand as a rather gutless one, as opposed to not being there for reasons of not supporting the war.

Keith Locke: I seek leave to table two relevant documents. The first is a media release this afternoon from Air New Zealand, explaining that the mainly Government-owned Air New Zealand sent two charter flights of Australian troops to Kuwait

Leave granted.

Keith Locke: I also seek leave to table a release, also of this afternoon, from Investigate magazine, saying that the Government was consulted on the sending of Australian?

Madam SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? There is objection.[/quote]

And then the explosion echoed in the deathly silence from the government benches.?

Winston tossed from the House, Labour loses it attack poodle

( Uncorrected transcript?subject to correction and further editing

Finally Winston got tossed from the house, and it couldn’t have happened at a worse time for the government, right in the middle of ongoing questions to Mark Burton about his draconian and anti-democratic law.

Labour have always relied on Peters to do some of their heavy hitting but today he went too far.
[quote]Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. I refer you to Standing Order 371(1)(c) and ask you to reflect on that question. I think you will find that the entire content of that question breaches that particular Standing Order.

Madam SPEAKER: Yes. I rule the question out of order.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. Seeing as the people raising the protest?namely, the front bench of the National Party?were not then part of the process, as they were not then on the front bench of the National Party, how can they argue against my word? I was there and they were not. So, Madam Speaker, with respect, I think you are wrong to rule me out of order.

Madam SPEAKER: You may well do. Would the member please be seated.

Hon Bill English: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. We have now had four or, I think, five interventions from the member, none of which has been a point of order. I know that this puts you in a difficult situation, because he calls or a point of order then gets up and makes a speech, but I would suggest that because you have discretion over the call, you have the ability not to take the member?s call if he continues to abuse the process. I do not really care what he says, but no member should be able to use the point of order mechanism as a way of making a series of speeches. That has happened, and I would be interested to know what action you intend to take to ensure that it does not continue, or we could be here all afternoon listening to the same speech over and over again.

Madam SPEAKER: I thank the member. His point has considerable force. I tell all members in this House?several of whom on other sides of the House have also raised similar points of order that are not points of order?that I will not take any further points of order on this issue. If points of order are raised, I will be asking the member who raises them to leave the House.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam SPEAKER: On this matter?

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I seek to raise a point of order that is new, and I think I am entitled to put it. It is simply that you ruled my question out of order, and I am asking now whether I can ask the question in a different way.

Madam SPEAKER: I gave the member that opportunity and he abused it. I gave the member an opportunity to rephrase his question to bring it within the Standing Orders. You get one chance. I used my discretion to do that, to assist the member. You do not get another chance to do so.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. There is nothing in the Speakers? rulings or the Standing Orders that suggests that just because someone protests at the truth, and feels personally upset by it, the truth is ruled out of order. I used the phrase ?the National Party?, and I was talking about a front bench of the National Party of which not one member there was a member.

Madam SPEAKER: Would the member please be seated?[Interruption] No, would the member please be seated. And leave the Chamber. The member has challenged my ruling. I explicitly said we would have no more on that issue. I have ruled on it, and the member is now creating disorder in this House.

Rt Hon Winston Peters withdrew from the Chamber.[/quote]

This exchange also had Nick Smith hollering at Peters “Stop living in the past old man” hehe

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The house descends into farce

( Uncorrected transcript?subject to correction and further editing

Speaker Wilson is a toady and a fool. Witness this covering up for a arrogant and churlish Minister.
[quote]Gerry Brownlee: When was the Minister first told that David Benson-Pope had expressed an opinion on the employment of Ms Setchell to Mr Logan?

Hon ANNETTE KING: If members could just wait one moment while I get the date when I was told?

Hon Bill English: Is this the Prime Minister?s department script?

Madam SPEAKER: The Minister is endeavouring to answer the question, as the member reminded the House before, in the best possible way. Would the Minister now address the question.

Hon ANNETTE KING: I try to be accurate in what I say. I have written down here the dates and times, and so on, that I was going to refer to. I will take the opportunity later to provide the answer, because I will not take the time of the House by looking now.

Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. You may choose to accept that as addressing the question, but if the Minister of State Services does not know what day she was made aware of the most crucial fact in this case, then that Minister does not deserve to hold the warrant.

Hon Dr Michael Cullen: This seems to be a peculiarly inappropriate week for the Opposition to climb on a high horse about who can remember what when, about what was said. This week has been a week in which Mr Key cannot remember what he said about almost anything, and had various stories on everything. [Interruption] And they do not like it when they are reminded of that fact?they do not like it at all. The fact is?[Interruption]

Madam SPEAKER: We will now hear the point of order in silence. Anyone who makes a comment will leave this Chamber. I could not hear what Dr Cullen was saying.

Hon Dr Michael Cullen: The fact is the Minister was seeking to consult her notes on a matter of detail. It is a pity that Mr Key did not take the chance to do so on a large number of occasions.

Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. Do you consider that the Minister saying: ?I will choose to answer this later.? is addressing the question?

Madam SPEAKER: Yes, I agree. Yes, the Minister did address the question, and it was not a point of order. You were making an observation, which you are entitled to do, but not as a point of order.

Gerry Brownlee: When was the Minister told that David Benson-Pope had expressed an opinion on the employment of Madeleine Setchell to Mr Logan?

Hon ANNETTE KING: On 29 July.

Gerry Brownlee: Further to her response to oral questions yesterday, has she now asked Dr Mark Prebble whether he was telling the truth when he stated in the Dominion Post article that: ?Ministers ought not be involved, and I understand the environment Minister David Benson-Pope was not involved?; if not, why not?


GERRY BROWNLEE (National?Ilam): I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. In answer to the last supplementary question asked of the Minister to the previous question, the Minister told us that she first knew of David Benson-Pope?s expressing a view to Mr Logan about the employment of the new communications manager on 29 July. David Benson-Pope announced that to the House on 26 July and was out of his job on 27 July. Does the Minister want to correct her answer, or did she know about it a whole month earlier than that?

Madam SPEAKER: I will ask the Minister to reply, although that was not a point of order.

Hon ANNETTE KING (Minister of State Services): My apologies, Madam Speaker. I thought?

Hon Bill English: Oh!

Hon ANNETTE KING: I thought this was a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam SPEAKER: Yes, the Minister is right. There will be no further interruptions during a point of order. The member raised a matter; the Minister was trying to be helpful. We will hear the answer in silence.

Hon ANNETTE KING: My apologies. I thought the member had asked me when Mark Prebble had remembered that Hugh Logan had mentioned it to him. That was on 29 July.

Madam SPEAKER: The member?s original point of order was not a point of order. It was, in fact, an observation, and it is a debating matter. It is not actually a point of order. However, I let it go for the sake of obtaining clarification for the House. That has been given.

Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. My question was extremely specific, and it was asked of the Minister twice: on which date did she know? It may be that one can get up and give the sort of answer that skates around it, but that is deliberately misleading the House.

Madam SPEAKER: The member is again making a debating point, not a point of order.

Hon Bill English: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. This is a question of order, because, as you know, Madam Speaker, the Opposition is limited to a certain number of supplementary questions. It would clearly be unacceptable that those supplementary questions are used up by Ministers giving misleading answers in order to avoid actually answering questions. As my colleague has pointed out, we have had to use two supplementary questions to ask that particular question quite definitively. It was clearly stated and unambiguous; there was no doubt as to what it was about. The Minister has now created a situation where, by her having given a misleading answer, we lose the opportunity, because we are getting through our supplementary questions, to get her to answer the question that she was asked and still has not answered.

Madam SPEAKER: I understand the member?s point. I would point out also that when the Minister was attempting to answer that question the first time, there was an interruption. She then indicated that she wanted to give an accurate answer and, therefore, she would table it later. Then, when the question was asked again, she gave an answer. When it was then questioned as not being an accurate answer, she gave an explanation, which is why I allowed that explanation to be given even though it was not a point of order. So I think we are back at square one.

Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. The Minister?s explanation was that although I asked her twice very, very clearly about when she knew, she thought somehow that I wanted to know when Dr Prebble said that he knew. I do not know how one can get that out of a simple question like that. This Minister is avoiding answering an important question.

Madam SPEAKER: I will say this once more. The point the member raises is, of course, a point of debate or of discussion. Certainly, the member is entitled to criticise and comment, but it is not a point of order. That is the point I am making. I have been tolerant until we had clarification for the House, but the House has been interrupted on matters that are not valid points of order.

Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. How can one have any order in this House if, when a question is asked about a Minister?s own involvement in something, that Minister turns around and says he or she is giving an answer about someone else?s involvement? If Ministers are to treat question time like that, then we will have an enormous amount of disorder, simply because there is an entitlement for members to have their questions answered.

Madam SPEAKER: Please be seated. The member himself is in danger of creating disorder. The matter has, in fact, been clarified, and even though I have ruled that it was not a point of order, I did enable the Minister to clarify the point that the member has raised. We shall now move on.

Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker?

Madam SPEAKER: I am sorry, but if this is the same point of order, then I will be asking the member to leave the Chamber. I have ruled on this matter.

Gerry Brownlee: It will be your judgment, Madam Speaker, as to whether it is the same point of order. Have you now ruled that if we ask a very specific question and a Minister chooses to hear that in a way that does not relate at all to that question and chooses to give an answer that makes the Minister herself look quite ridiculous, are we supposed to just sit here and accept that? What is the point in having question time?

Madam SPEAKER: No, the point I have made, Mr Brownlee?and I will do this for the very last time?is that I have said that it was not a point of order. It was not a point of order. It was a matter of obvious importance, however, which is why I enabled the Minister to respond to it for the information of the House.[/quote]

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